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Hellesdon residents – do you want ‘western link’?

Hellesdon residents will be able to have their say about a possible “western link” to the new NDR route at a consultation event in the parish next month.

Norfolk County Council has begun a period of public consultation asking people whether they think a Norwich western link is necessary.

One of nine consultation events in the county will be held in Hellesdon Parish Office, near the community centre, on Tuesday June 26, from 10.30am-8pm. County council staff will be on hand to answer questions and there will be a chance to respond to the consultation in person.

Hellesdon Norfolk County Council representative Shelagh Gurney is encouraging local residents to visit the event.

“It is important that residents are able to participate in the consultation exercise and have their say,” she said. “There has been much favourable comment about the recently-opened NDR, Broadland Northway, with residents reporting the benefits of accessing the A47 when travelling to Great Yarmouth, Wroxham and north Norfolk in general.

“Now is the opportunity to decide whether or not the NDR traverses the Wensum Valley and joins up with the A47 at the Dereham Road end.  There will be a lot of research required and careful consideration of the environmental impact of such a road, but the benefits of reduced travelling times for emergency services, particularly ambulances wishing to access the Accident and Emergency services at the hospital, will mean that critical treatment can be accessed more expediently”.

The public consultation ends on July 3. You can find out more and respond to the consultation online at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nwl

North Walsham’s Library 50th celebrations

North Walsham Library is ready to mark its 50th anniversary with a week of special events, children’s activities and celebrations.

And staff are keen to hear from any library users who have special memories of the building over the past half-century.

The distinctive building on New Road, in the shape of an eight-pointed star, cost £14,274 and was officially opened on May 23 1968.

It replaced a library service which had operated for many years in a former billiards room behind the King’s Arms pub in the town centre.

The new North Walsham library opened with a total 14,000 books including, for the first time, a children’s section with 2,000 titles. There was also a new reference section.

Two months after the opening, in July 1986, the North Walsham branch got its own mobile library vehicle to make four-weekly visits to surrounding north Norfolk villages. A van had previously operated from Norwich.

The new North Walsham librarian was Andrew Kett, who moved from Gloucestershire and his wife, Mrs R Kett, had responsibility for the mobile service with the driver/assistant Mr H Lester.

Full-time assistant to Mr Kett was Mrs Barbara Hankin and there were also three part-time assistants including Mrs Winnie Wallace, who did the job from 1950-1974, and Mrs E M Laws.

Within just a few weeks of the official opening adult membership was well over 3,000 and more than 460 children had joined.

The library was open from 10am daily except Sunday, closed for an hour every weekday lunchtime, and closed at 5pm except on Mondays and Thursdays – when it stayed open until 8pm – and Saturday which was a half day.

The building was officially opened by Mrs M A L Clifton Brown, chairman of the county council’s library committee, and special guests present included Mr J T E Jones, chairman of North Walsham Urban District Council, Dr F Lincoln Ralphs, county chief education officer, and Mr D P Mortlock, county librarian.

Other sites previously considered for the library had included part of the high school site on Park Avenue, and within the grounds of the council offices on New Road.

  • North Walsham’s most famous schoolboy, Horatio Nelson, will be remembered in music, word and song in a special talk as part of the library’s half-centenary celebrations.

“Norfolk Hero – The Songs of Lord Nelson, The Victory and Trafalgar” will start the week’s events on the afternoon of Saturday May 19.

Singers and musicians from the local folk scene will perform traditional ballads, broadsides and tunes as well as shanties, monologues, and contemporary poems and songs.

The two-hour talk, a world premiere, follows previous talks at the library on traditional singers Walter Pardon of Knapton, Harry Cox of Catfield, Sam Larner of Winterton and Peter Bellamy, of Norwich.

Tickets are £5, include refreshments, and are available now from the library.

A display of old photographs and newspaper cuttings relating to the library will be on show all week and staff hope to use old-style rubber stamps for issuing books as well as membership cards in “wooden coffins”.

Paul Cosham, who has been manager at the library for three years, is especially keen for users to contribute their special memories to the display. Anyone willing should speak to a member of staff.

A special “bounce and rhyme” party for young children is planned during the week and other ideas under consideration are a children’s dress-up event and a book sale.

On Wednesday May 23, the actual anniversary date, there will be a special celebration for former staff and invited guests including the new mayor of North Walsham, local county councillor Eric Seward, county library manager Jan Holden and area manager Kerry Murray.

Contact the library on (01692) 402482 or at north.walsham.lib@norfolk.gov.uk

The opening of North Walsham Library on May 23 1968.

 

 

 

 

Lord Nelson.

Bumpy landing at Sheringham

In a first for Norfolk’s Coast Path, a helicopter was drafted in today to airlift heavy materials up Beeston Bump in Sheringham.

The work is to enable vital improvements to be made to the path, which will make access to Norfolk’s highest point easier and repair the scarring that has occurred on the well known landscape feature.
Norfolk County Council’s Norfolk Trails team has started preliminary work to repair the badly-rutted route which walkers currently have to navigate.

The new improved path will follow the same route as now but will help to prevent further wear and tear along the stretch of the National Trail.
The work, which has largely been funded by Natural England, is being carried out by Norfolk County Council’s Norfolk Trails team. The helicopter was called in as it is the best way to lift the heavy aggregate needed with minimum impact on the SSSI feature.

Broadland householders facing council tax rise

 

Councillors at Broadland District Council have agreed a 4.3pc council tax rise, the equivalent of an extra £4.99 per year for an average Band D property.

Earlier this month Norfolk County Council agreed a 5.99pc rise in its share of council tax and a 5.5pc budget increase has also been approved for policing in the county during 2018-2019.

Broadland also increased its share of the council tax last year, following a  seven-year freeze.

“No one wants to see a rise in council tax. However, it is important that we are able to help those most in need and continue to maintain high quality services,” said councillor Trudy Mancini-Boyle, Broadland’s portfolio holder for finance. “We have restricted our increase to £4.99 in order to achieve this, although I appreciate that residents will see a rise in other aspects of their bill.” 

The council will continue to look for other sources of income and, following the success of the Carrowbreck Meadow development, has recently secured help from central government for a new housing development in Great Plumstead through its company, Broadland Growth Ltd.

For the second year, residents will be receiving a Buy in Broadland discount voucher booklet with their council tax bills. Designed to support local business, the voucher booklet will provide residents with 96 different discounts and offers for Broadland businesses, giving them the chance to discover new places to enjoy and perhaps rediscover some old favourites.

The council tax rise will be included in bills for 2018/19 which residents will be receiving in the coming weeks.

 


 

Coltishall/Sheringham smashes on ungritted roads

Car smashes in Sheringham and Coltishall in icy conditions this morning (Friday January 26) were among dozens of collisions after Norfolk County Council failed to grit roads.

Two people were taken to hospital after the two crashes which were among 37 reported to Norfolk police this morning.

The council says its forecasting service did not predict there would be a freeze but says the gritters will be out tonight across Norfolk, from 7pm, with more sub-zero temperatures predicted.

This morning’s road chaos followed a light-hearted tweet yesterday from Norfolk County Council which said: “The sun has got its hat on, the weather’s mild and bright, the sun has got its hat on, there’s no gritting tonight.”

But in fact temperatures took a steep plunge overnight. Among smashes was a three-vehicle accident at 7.15am on the A149 Weybourne Road, Sheringham, involving a Ford Transit van, and Vauxhall Astra and Toyota IQ cars which blocked the road until just before 11am.

A woman was treated for back pain by an East of England Ambulance Service Trust crew and taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for further treatment.

Earlier, just before 7am, emergency services were called to the B1354 Wroxham Road, Coltishall, where a red Renault Megane had left the road.

A man in his 20s was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich by ambulance suffering hip and head pain. His condition is not believed to be life-threatening.

A county council spokesman said: “We buy a weather forecast service from a specialist provider which we use to inform our decision on whether to grit, and also where and when.

“While it’s usually very accurate, the forecast for last night suggested road temperatures would not dip below freezing, so on this occasion we unfortunately didn’t have the information needed to send the gritters out. We’re sorry if some people experienced difficult journeys this morning.”

Earlier this afternoon the council tweeted: “Freezing temperatures forecast across the board tonight so the gritters will be going out on all county gritting routes – that’s more than a third of the county’s roads – at 7pm”.


 

One-off chance to cycle un-opened NDR

For one day only, cyclists are being invited to explore the westernmost sections of the A1270 Norwich Northern Distributor Road before they are opened to traffic.

The new dual carriageway is nearing completion between the A1067 Fakenham Road and the Drayton Lane roundabout, and these stretches will be open to cyclists from 10am to 4pm on Sunday  October 29 as part of the Norfolk Walking and Cycling Festival. These sections of road, and Drayton Lane to A140 Cromer Road, are expected to be opened to traffic in November, provided good progress is maintained on the major A1270/A140 junction.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “We are very pleased to give local people a chance to see the road before it’s open to general traffic, and to explore the new cycle-ways and links to Marriott’s Way and communities such as Horsford and Thorpe Marriott.

“This will be a one-off opportunity to ride on a traffic-free main carriageway, but maintaining and improving permanent cycle links is an essential part of the project. Once the whole NDR is finished, it will still be possible to use new and existing paths and quiet lanes to get from Fakenham Road to Postwick without setting foot or bicycle wheel on the road itself.”

Volunteers from main contractor Balfour Beatty, and from Norfolk County Council’s NDR and  ‘Pushing Ahead’  teams will be joined by others to provide supervision at key locations, including the Fir Covert Road and Reepham Road roundabouts, where cyclists will have to crossing live traffic.

John Birchall, NDR public liaison officer, said there had been many requests to run or cycle on the main carriageway before it opens to vehicles. “The 29th is primarily a family cycling event, and explorers will be able to decide for themselves how much of the three miles of dual carriageway or connected paths they ride. We are aiming to focus on runners when the last sections of the route, north of Postwick, are nearing completion next spring.”

Access on and off the NDR itself will be at the Fakenham Road, Fir Covert Road, Reepham Road and Drayton Lane roundabouts, but people coming from further afield will be able to park at the site compound off New Drayton Lane (NR10 3AN). Marriott’s Way also connects to the new cycle paths along the NDR, but is less suitable for road bikes. A leaflet and plan can be downloaded from the Pushing Ahead website.

 Photo: Pashley

 

Anger over ruined Hellesdon road verges

Fed up Hellesdon residents are calling on Norfolk County Council (NCC) to stop motorists parking on grass verges.

Parents dropping off children and collecting them from school have been blamed for wrecking sections of grass along Meadow Way.

But NCC says it will not be protecting the verges and suggests the school involved should send letters to parents, asking them to park more considerately.

Neighbours Brian Leckie and Anne Daynes say up to 30 cars park on verges on both sides of Meadow Way each morning and afternoon, as parents take children to and from Firside Junior School.

“They churn up and kill the grass. It’s such a mess and it’s such a shame, “said Mrs Daynes.” It just turns them to mud and they look very unsightly.”

Mr Leckie wants NCC to set posts into the verges, as has been done in a different section of Meadow Way, which has prevented parking and protected the grass.

The council is currently laying new pavements in Meadow Way and contractors will be reseeding the verges when their work is finished.

“There’s absolutely no point doing that,” said Mr Leckie. “They’ll be a mud-bath the next day. It would be better if they put hard core down.”

An NCC spokesman said their powers to prevent parking on verges were limited as drivers were not acting illegally, providing they were not causing an obstruction or danger.

She added: “The verges on Meadow Way will be soiled and seeded as part of the ongoing footway scheme, but council policy is not to guard verges with posts to protect against parking and overrunning. “We do sympathise with residents’ frustration, however damage to the verge is normally cosmetic in nature and does not pose a danger to highway users.”

Firside head teacher Roz Robinson said the school actively worked with residents to maintain good relations and parents were reminded about considerate parking throughout the year.

Just last week she had sent out a newsletter including a section on parking. It asked parents to park considerately, turn off engines while waiting for children and said she would be asking local police to carry out spot checks.

Mrs Robinson added: “I can only apologise on behalf of our parents for any issues around parking near our neighbours’ property.  As a school we will continue to remind our parents about parking and road safety in general.”

Pictured: Brian Leckie and Anne Daynes beside one of the damaged verges on Meadow Way and a different part of the road where posts have been installed preventing parking and protecting the grass.

 

 

Campaign for road safety in North Walsham moves forward

Campaigners in North Walsham have taken new steps to improve safety along two busy roads into the town.

Residents and councillors gathered at the junction of Aylsham Road and Skeyton New Road this morning (September 27) to display new signs urging motorists to take care and cut their speeds.

The idea came from campaigner and resident Bernie Marfleet who had seen the signage working in Switzerland and thought it would help in North Walsham.

The distinctive signs, which show two children asking motirists to cut their speed, have been introduced along both roads with pleas for 20mph limits. Norfolk County Council has also stepped in by painting lamp posts along the road orange to make them stand out so motorists can avoid clipping them as they pass.

Bernie said: “We want children to be able to walk and cycle safely to school and visit friends and playgrounds and that  parents can let them do this without fear and worry.”

The campaign has seen the support locally from haulage companies and from local printer North Walsham Signs.

The aim now is to create a path into the town and a meeting of councillors and the police is to be held in early October with Norfolk County Council Highways officers to discuss this and a list of other actions proposed to calm the traffic.

County councillor Eric Seward, who was there this morning, said: “Aylsham Rd in the town is a relatively narrow residential street that should not be a main lorry route due to it containing the only railway bridge that heavy lorries can access. The long-term solution is a new link road from Norwich Rd to the Lyngate industrial estate to remove heavy lorries from the town’s residential streets.

“I therefore welcome the county council’s recent announcement that North Walsham will be in the first batch of market towns for a study to look at the transport implications of housing and economic growth in the town. This ought to provide the evidence for public funding to support a new link road on the western side of the town where any new housing is likely to be located. In the meantime the safety of residents and pedestrians in Aylsham Road needs to be improved. The meeting in early October is an important step forward in helping to bring this about.”